World Bulletin / News Desk
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will travel to Iran and Saudi Arabia for talks on regional issues and Syria, officials said Wednesday.
Steinmeier will be the first German foreign minister to visit Tehran since 2003, weeks after Iran ended its long standoff with the Western powers, by signing a landmark nuclear deal in July.
German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said Steinmeier will travel to Tehran on Friday for talks on the implementation of the nuclear deal, bilateral relations and regional issues, in particular the efforts for a political solution to the civil war in Syria.
“Only a political agreement among the countries of the region, involving Iran and Saudi Arabia, can put an end to the violence in Syria and bring a sustainable stability in the region,” he stressed.
Following his high-level talks in Tehran, Steinmeier will head to Saudi Arabia on Sunday – Iran’s main rival in the region – to continue discussions on Syria.
Schaefer stressed that Germany’s attempt was not “a mediation effort” between Iran and Saudi Arabia, but rather a continuation of efforts to build bridges between parties in the region, to achieve political agreement on Syria.
Syria has been gripped by bitter fighting since the Assad regime cracked down on anti-government protests, which began in 2011 as part of the “Arab Spring” uprisings.
According to the UN, more than 250,000 people have since been killed in the conflict, which continues to pit several heavily armed factions – including ISIL and the regime itself – against one another.
Following his meetings in Saudi Arabia, Steinmeier will travel to Jordan on Monday to attend the 2015 Mediterranean Conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE.
The conference is expected to bring together high-level representatives from OSCE states and its ‘Mediterranean Partners’ – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.Last Mod: 15 Ekim 2015, 09:20